Christian Belady fills Daniel Costello's position at Microsoft

I recently caught up with a data center executive to discuss who was moving where.  I told him Mike Manos was moving.  Reviewed a few people I heard had thrown their hat in for vacant positions.  Where there was likely a change coming.

One that just popped yesterday with a blog post in Christian Belady's move to fill the position Daniel Costello vacated at Microsoft when he went to Google.

The Gravitational Pull Was Too Strong

By Christian Belady
General Manager, Data Center Research, Global Foundation Services

Many of you may have already heard that I have change roles yet again in Microsoft. It was only 11 months ago that I had moved to Microsoft Research to pursue ground-breaking work in the Extreme Computing Work (Apples Don’t Fall Far from the Tree). In that time, I experienced the great opportunity of helping to set an organizational vision and build a team of Hardware Architects and Engineers, who I believe are second to none. It was a significant experience given to me by Dan Reed the CVP of XCG, which I am very grateful for. However, while their team’s ship has set sail on a course that I believe will transform the industry five to 10 years out, I realized that growing up professionally in a product development ecosystem most of my career, I do need more of an instant gratification. Combined with that need and the growing business needs of the Global Foundation Services (GFS) team, I am thrilled to say that I will be going back to my roots in Microsoft to be the GM of Datacenter Research (DCR), reporting to Kevin Timmons.

DCR will be an advanced development lab (versus a traditional research lab), whose horizon is one step beyond the datacenters we have on the drawing board today.  I am blessed to have yet another great opportunity.

2011 will most likely be a dynamic year for data center executives look for greener pastures.

One of the problems I was talking to with an insider is why data center engineers are not as well compensated as Network Engineers.  Huh?  If you didn't know a top network engineer can have a salary of $200-300K.  Name me a data center engineer who gets paid in that range.  Why the problem can exist is for many companies data centers are part of real estate.  Networking engineers are more closely aligned with IT development.  Networking engineers can quickly trace issues and fix networks in minutes, or bring them down in minutes as well as changes are made.

There are exceptions to this disparity, and the top data center talent is being drawn to where there are better opportunities.